Category Archives: news

All public posts should be categories as NEWS – feeds into the “news” page

RMIT School of Science Research Day

10 July 2017:

The RMIT School of Science Research Day was held on July 10th, with several members of the RMIT Node presenting CNBP research.

Postgraduate students Daniel Stavrevski, Marco Capelli and Josef Worboys participated in the 3 Minute Thesis competition: Josef Worboys was awarded the winning prize  for his work related to ‘quantum correlations’, and will go on to the University level competition.

The day’s program was concluded with a poster session including posters from CNBP’s Philipp Reineck, Emma Wilson, Nafisa Zohora, Marco Capelli and Ashleigh Heffernan.

CNBP researcher at ICMAT and in China

5 July 2017:

CNBP Researcher, Dr Yu, from the University of Adelaide, presented recent findings on “Gating Electron Transfer in Peptides Towards Molecular Switches” at the International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies, commonly known as ICMAT 2017, held in Singapore, 18-24 June. It attracted more than 2,500 delegates from all over the world.

Following the ICMAT 2017, Dr Yu made a trip to Chongqing University, one of 985 project Universities in China. An invited lecture was given to the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and he met with Professors Xiaohua Chen, Yi Xu, and Lingjie Li.

While in Chongqing, he also made a visit to the microfabrication facilities, including the MEMS, Wafer Lithography and clean room at the Centre of MicroFabrication and MicroSystems, Chongqing University. Networking provided a number of possible future collaborations.

Below – Dr Yu presenting CNBP science at Chongqing University.

Want a better camera? Just copy bees!

4 July 2017:

Check out the latest buzz about bees and their extra light-sensing eyes! CNBP CI Prof Andy Greentree is coauthor on a new paper in PNAS, which identifies how the eyes and brains of honeybees work together, to process colour information.

“If we can design technology to mimic the way bees do this, we’ll be able to create better cameras and image-processing systems for drones and robots,” say the researchers in an article on the science news channel ‘The Conversation‘.

 

Superstars of STEM

3 July 2017:

Congratulations to CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown and Dr Sanam Mustafa, both from the University of Adelaide and both selected to participate in the inaugural 2017 Superstars of STEM program.

The program, implemented by ‘Science and Technology Australia’, supports 30 women employed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to become highly visible public role models.

All participants will be trained in public speaking, media, and communicating with influence, with the objective of inspiring and encouraging young women in their STEM related education and study.

Opportunities provided by the program will include mainstream media interviews, speaker slots at public, corporate and Government events as well as support for local high school visits.

“This program will directly encourage young women and girls to study and stay in STEM – by speaking with them in their schools and workplaces, and by providing prominent public role models for them to aspire to,” STA CEO Kylie Walker said.

The program was launched today by Professor Emma Johnston (STA President-Elect) and Senator the Hon Arthur Sindodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science.

 

Enhancement of the NV quantum yield

3 July 2017:

Researchers from CNBP’s RMIT University node (lead author CNBP PhD student Marco Capelli pictured), have had a paper published in the journal ‘Nanoscale’.

The researchers report an enhancement of the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) quantum yield by up to 7% in bulk diamond caused by an external magnetic field.

The paper is accessible online.

Journal: Nanoscale.

Publication title: Magnetic field-induced enhancement of the nitrogen-vacancy fluorescence quantum yield .

Authors: M. Capelli, P. Reineck, D. W. M. Lau, A. Orth, J. Jeske, M. W. Doherty, T. Ohshima, A. D. Greentree and B. C. Gibson.

Abstract: The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centre in diamond is a unique optical defect that is used in many applications today and methods to enhance its fluorescence brightness are highly sought after. We observed experimentally an enhancement of the NV quantum yield by up to 7% in bulk diamond caused by an external magnetic field relative to the field-free case. This observation is rationalised phenomenologically in terms of a magnetic field dependence of the NV excited state triplet-to-singlet transition rate. The theoretical model is in good qualitative agreement with the experimental results at low excitation intensities. Our results significantly contribute to our fundamental understanding of the photophysical properties of the NV defect in diamond.

Nanotechnology meets bioengineering

29 June 2017:

The Fudan-UH-MQ Workshop on ‘Nanotechnology meets Bioengineering’ was well supported by CNBP researchers at Macquarie University,  Wed 28th June – Thu 29th June.

A joint workshop, organised within the framework of University wide trilateral collaboration between Fudan, Hamburg and Macquarie, the event aimed to enhance collaborations between all three universities as well as generate potential cotutelle PhD candidates.

CNBP researchers presenting at the workshop included:

Prof. Nicolle H. Packer (CNBP Chief Investigator, pictured)
Cellular glycosylation: opportunities for discovering new molecular targets.

A/Prof. Anwar Sunna (CNBP Associate Investigator)
A platform technology for the self assembly of functional materials.

A/Prof. Guozhen Liu (CNBP Associate Investigator)
Nanotools for in vivo cytokine monitoring in neuroscience.

Dr. Nicole Cordina (CNBP Research Fellow)
Functionalisation of fluorescent nanodiamonds for bio-imaging applications.

Below: Prof. Nicolle Packer presents her talk on glycans.

New PhD candidate Fuyuan Zhang

27 June 2017:

CNBP welcomes its latest PhD candidate Fuyuan Zhang who will study under the supervision of Center ARC Future Fellow A/Prof. Guozhen Liu at Macquarie University.

Fuyuan’s project is to develop assays to detect plant microRNA, diagnostic markers for response to pathogen or virus infection in plants, and subsequently to integrate these assays to an in vivo device for plant disease early diagnosis.

Funded by the Cotutelle PhD program between Macquarie University and Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST), China, Fuyuan has expertise in the design of assays for detection of toxins in food samples; the preparation of fluorescent nanomaterials; and the development of computer simulations and modelling .

Welcome to the CNBP team Fuyuan!

Neurophotonics Summer School

21 June 2017:

This years Neurophotonics Summer School held in Quebec, Canada, June 11-21, was attended by three CNBP members – Vicky Staikopoulos (University of Adelaide, pictured), Antony Orth (RMIT University) and Varun Sreenivasan (UNSW).

The school focuses on teaching physics and biology and how they can merge, and runs for 10 days and includes 14 lectures from world class speakers and 10 workshops that teach the latest technology in the bio-imaging of the central nervous system.

For the last 4 days of the summer school, students are given a project to participate in for direct hands-on experience which is then presented on the last day,  with prizes awarded for the top 3 presentations.

This year, equal second prize was given to Vicky Staikopoulos for her work on Digital Holographic Microscopy in red blood cells.

 

Success in wool innovation competition

16 June 2017:

CNBP’s Ben Pullen (pictured) and Vicky Staikopoulos have been awarded a runner up prize as part of the University of Adelaide’s ‘Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation‘ competition.

There were 8 teams competing in the wool stream finals. First prize won $20,000 with 5x $10,000 prizes also on offer.

“We entered the competition to learn about marketing and entrepreneurial thinking and with only two weeks to go before the end of the workshop program we stumbled, by chance onto an idea as to how to help wool growers better manage their flock,” says Ben.

“Vicky Staikopoulos and I were awarded a runner up prize of $10,000 for our efforts. We plan to pursue this project and develop the idea into a working product.”

Sensors for calcium ion

15 June 2017:

Researchers from CNBP (lead author Dr Sabrina Heng pictured), have just had a paper published, reporting on three new spiropyran-based reversible sensors for calcium ion.

Journal: Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical.

Publication title: Photoswitchable calcium sensor: ‘On’–‘Off’ sensing in cells or with microstructured optical fibers.

Authors: Sabrina Heng, Adrian M. Mak, Roman Kostecki, Xiaozhou Zhang, Jinxin Peia, Daniel B. Stubing, Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriema, Andrew D. Abell.

Abstract: Calcium is a ubiquitous intracellular signaling ion that plays a critical role in the modulation of fundamental cellular processes. A detailed study of these processes requires selective and reversible sensing of Ca2+ and an ability to quantify and monitor concentration changes in a biological setting. Three new, rationally designed, synthesized and photoswitchable spiropyran-based reversible sensors for Ca2+ are reported. Sensor 1a is highly selective for Ca2+ with an improved profile relative to the other two analogues, 1b and 1c. Formation of the merocyanine–Ca2+ complex is proportional to an increase in Ca2+ released from HEK293 cells on stimulation with ionomycin. The photophysical processes surrounding the binding of Ca2+ to compound 1a were further explored using computational methods based on density functional theory (DFT). The ability of sensor 1a to bind Ca2+ and photoswitch reversibly was also characterized using silica suspended-core microstructured optical fiber (SCF). These SCF experiments (with 100 nM Ca2+) represent a first step toward developing photoswitchable, minimally invasive and highly sensitive Ca2+ sensing platforms for use in a biological setting.

The paper is accessible online.